There have been some key changes to what you need in order to vote for future local and general elections, you will now need an approved ID. To ensure you’re able to vote in the upcoming local elections on the 4th May 2023, and if you haven’t already, you need to register to vote by the 17th of April 2023.
Who’s representing you?
Local elections are important because the elected councillors sit on various committees which are responsible for key decisions made in the community. The local council has many responsibilities including but not limited to housing support, leisure activities, education, climate and pollution, crime and safety, and support for Ukraine. The full list of local council responsibilities can be found on the following website https://www.reading.gov.uk/ . Local councils are also in regular dialogue with the government over different decisions made nationally, this level of influence is one of the reasons it is important for voters to have their say in local elections!
What you need to know
From the 4th of May 2023 Local Election, voters will require a form of government approved ID in order to be able to vote. The approved IDs include the following:
- Driving Licence
- Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS)
- Local Travel – Certain Concessionary Travel Cards only
- Other government-issued documents
- Biometric Immigration Card
- Defence Identity Card
- National Identity Card
The government has decided that student cards and young people’s travel passes are not valid as an approved ID to vote. These changes to election voting makes the process more difficult for young people who may not have one of the forms of valid ID mention above for various reasons. The government has created another type of approved ID called the Voter Authority Certificate (VAC) which you can apply for free by the 25th of April 2023. In order to apply for this, you need the following:
- Date of Birth
- National Insurance Number (if you don’t have one your council will contact you for an alternative)
Around 21,000 people had applied for the VAC by the 21st of February 2023. This represents around 1 percent of the estimated population who need one of the approved ID’s. From the 21,000 people who applied, around 6 percent of this number were under 25, a group who are disproportionately more likely to not own an approved ID.
Voting for the local elections will take place on the 4th of May 2023. All voters need to take at least one form of ID with them in order to vote.
- 17th April 2023 – The registration deadline in order to vote in the upcoming local elections.
- 25th April 2023 – The application deadline for the Voter Authority Certificate, the free form of ID the government are offering.
- 4th May – Election Day – don’t forget your ID!
Together we can say it loud.
All the resources , including this blog, about voting in local elections have been created by young people for young people!